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UI Entrepreneurship Club Partners with JPEC To Support Youth Entrepreneurs

I-Envision, The University of Iowa's CEO chapter, in conjunction with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), conducted entrepreneurship summer camps over the summer. Club members developed hands-on learning activities and served as camp counselors at the Jacobson Entrepreneurship Academy for students who have completed grades 6-8, and at the Youth Entrepreneur Camp for students who have completed grades 3-5. "The partnership between I-Envision and JPEC has benefited JPEC's youth outreach initiatives greatly," says JPEC outreach coordinator Dawn Bowlus. "I-Envision members are great mentors. They are interested in entrepreneurship, successfully running their own businesses while in college, and motivated to give back to the next generation of aspiring young entrepreneurs."

This summer more than 100 elementary and middle school students participated in JPEC youth entrepreneurship programs. Camp participants heard entrepreneurial start-up stories from successful entrepreneurs and learned the nuts and bolts of starting a business from University of Iowa entrepreneurship faculty. In addition to networking with other young Iowans interested in starting their own businesses, camp participants spent the week developing business plans and designing marketing materials. Each day, students applied what they had learned to their businesses. At the end of the week, participants in the elementary camp presented their business plans to their peers, while participants in the middle school camp presented to a panel of judges in hopes of earning seed capital to get their businesses started.

JPEC and I-Envision are currently outlining new ways to expand this valuable partnership. In addition to returning to area elementary schools to teach after-school entrepreneurship activities, I-Envision is also considering a pen pal program matching past participants in JPEC's summer youth camps with I-Envision members, in hopes of inspiring youth to move ahead with starting their own businesses.

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